Activities & Lesson Plans - 1st & 2nd Grade Newsletter 1/29/10 - Biking For Haiti

Grade: 1st-2nd

January 29, 2010 | Grades 1&2

In This Issue: I Want My Smartphone; A Boy and His Bike; Movie Popcorn Gets Greasy

Do You Multitask?

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released Generation M2, a survey to determine how much time kids 8-18 spend with their smartphones, computers, TVs and other electronic devices. Turns out, kids spend more than seven and a half hours a day on entertainment media; and those who multitask pack an average of nearly 11 hours of media content into that same seven. The results surprised researchers, who thought that numbers from a similar 2004 study couldn't possibly increase.  

Read More on Multitasking: "Texting, Surfing, Studying?", The New York Times 

Activity Ideas - Math

Tell your child that kids 8-18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day using smartphones, computers and other electronic devices. 

  • Together, write down a general schedule for a teenager in high school. (6:30 a.m. Wake up. 7:30 a.m. Arrive at school. 2:00 p.m. Home from school. 2:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Play online games, send text messages to friends, etc)
  • ASK: What do you notice about this schedule? How do you think he or she gets homework or chores done?
  • Discuss multitasking. ASK: How many things do you think you could do at once? Then tell him or her how many things that you think you can do at once.
  • TEST both of your predictions, first with silly examples: try to sing "Happy Birthday To You" while tying your shoes and reading a paragraph in a book or magazine.
  • Challenge your child to listen to an iPod while writing a letter to a friend. Keep track of the time it takes both of you to do different tasks while sending a text message, etc.
  • ASK: Did you find it difficult to concentrate on two things at once? Do you think you pay more attention or do a better job without distractions? Do you think it's possible that some people do better when working on more than one thing?

Charlie SimpsonBike-Riding to the Rescue

When Charlie Simpson saw the destruction in Haiti, he hopped on his bike and set out to help the nation's children. The 7-year-old from London, England, decided to do a fundraising bike ride at a park near his home. Charlie and his mom set up a web page that urged people to sponsor his ride; the response has been overwhelming. He has raised nearly $330,000 for UNICEF's Haiti Earthquake Children's Appeal.

Activity Ideas - Language Arts

Share Charlie's story with your child. 

  • Write down separate lists of one or two words that you would use to describe Charlie.
  • Compare notes. Tell your child that synonyms are words that have the same or similar meanings. ASK: Are any of our words synonyms? What about his actions or behavior made you think of these words?
  • Challenge your child to continue to explore new words to use in place of other, more familiar ones. 

Learning TipsUsing Descriptive Words; Synonyms and Antonyms

Game: Mr. Anker TestsThe Greasy Truth

A movie and popcorn used to seem like the perfect combination, but a recent report may make filmgoers everywhere say, "Hold the bucket of grease." The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) sent popcorn samples from three national theaters to a lab for analysis. The amount of saturated fat, sodium and calories alarmed researchers.  

Share some calorie comparisons from the report with your child: 

  • A small Regal bucket has 670 calories and 34 grams of saturated fat. That's about as many calories as a Pizza Hut personal pan pepperoni pizza—except the popcorn has three times the saturated fat.
  • At AMC theaters, a large popcorn has 1,030 calories and 57 grams of saturated fat. That's like eating a pound of baby back ribs topped with a scoop of Haagen-Dazs ice cream, with a side of an additional day's worth of saturated fat.
  • Every tablespoon of buttery oil topping adds another 130 calories. Asking for a topping is like asking for oil on French Fries. 
  • At  Regal, a medium and a large popcorn each has 1,200 calories and three days' worth of saturated fat.

Activity Ideas - Math
Add it Up
  • Help your child write the calorie, sodium and fat amounts listed above on a piece of paper. 
  • Find content comparisons in your kitchen cabinets: Have your child choose some of his or her favorite foods—macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, ice cream, etc.
  • Look at the packages to find the amount of calories, sodium and saturated fat per serving. 
  • Help your child calculate how many boxes or servings of each food you would have to eat to equal each bucket of popcorn.

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